Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Family prioritising, urban poverty and negative splitting

Sun: nowt, Mon: nowt, Tue: 16k
Thank goodness something got squeezed in! I really wanted a long run in each week as part of the build up to SaintElyon but that has t really happened. For the first two weeks I was definitely recovering, so no regrets there. But I really should have been out for a long 'un this weekend. Sometimes though, I just have to learn that circumstances sometimes just dictate differently to my plans, and remind me that as much as I love running, it isn't the most important thing in my life. My family and my faith come higher up the list. A last minute change in weather conditions and a last minute visits by a family of nine (yes, NINE!) meant a whole load of changes hit hard. But I can't tell you just how much release it gave me after initial feelings of stress just to say: there is nothing I can do about this, I have to accept this, this is life! Also, coming tons point of peace about this in the presence of my family is valuable and scores points because they know just how precious time running is to me. 

Regarding the 16k: a "utility run" to the train station and back to pick up a ticke (for the saintelyon race as it happens), applying the usual principle of slightly faster back than out. About and hour 20 mins in total.  I was so struck by the poverty in the northern district of the city I was running through, the filth, thé people rummaging through the bins. I had a bad dream last night about my disgust of the whole situation that poverty brings. I tried to pray for the areas but then just felt quite helpless in the face of such need. I'm glad I came back a different route. 

Back on the subject of the out and back pacing strategy for a training run: when I do this, I know that my pace can be increased. Although it might feel harder to do 4:30 or 4:40/km, I just know it's still well within my scope relative to my race pace, and I do it, and feel fairly positive about that. However, I have yet to negative split on a marathon (or go sub 3hr). And I realise now that my strategy virtually guarantees that I will fail in this endeavour. My strategy really is to positive split! I set off pretty quick in first km and then average around 5 seconds per km quicker than my goal marathon pace for the next 25. But even if I'd gone those five seconds slower: assuming accurate goal-setting, I am at best going to nail an absolutely even marathon. Surely I need to be running a couple of seconds slower than average goal pace to ensure a Healthy negative split. Now this is all a bit theoretical, I know. What do I do when confronted with the reality of a hilly course next time? When running in my last marathon, I kept telling myself when on the flat that I had to run slightly quicker than average goal pace because the speed of the hills is not (and should not be) compensated for by the acceleration of the downs. I course, battered by the third quarter hills, this was not an option for me in the latter stages of the race, but maybe it might have been. Could we not suggest then, as a rule of thumb and guide for a hilly course that flat sections in the first half are taken AT average goal pace, ie slightly slow?

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